Contest Ends October 21--You Can Win a Whole Business for Only $108

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When Polly decided to take over Toko Imports it was not a direction she envisioned her life taking - but it was one of the most transformative experiences she’d ever ever had in her life.  Almost 6 years later, she’s ready to make way for more experiences in her life, and give someone that same opportunity for a new journey. 
That’s why on October 21st, she’s going to choose the final winner of the Win Toko Imports Contest. That will start the process of the official transfer of sale of the business from her to the new winner and they will be the owner of the shop. 
She didn’t come by her ownership so magically. She took over the business by being a customer and the previous owner of 30 years had supported her in various ways to ease the transition into becoming the sole owner of the shop. 
Polly explains, “I had a lot of experience in creating a safe space for people to explore music. I used to be apart of a creative community. I spent 6 months talking to the owner, did research,  wrote a business plan, and got business loans. At first, I wasn’t in a position to buy a businesses and I didn’t have savings or resources. So I saw it as an opportunity to engage with the community and be around something I love. It’s a boutique with pottery, jewelry, hats and other home goods. But people know it as a drum store. I played drums before I got there. 90% of what I know about drums I learned from my customers and being in the shop.” 
As a new business owner, you don’t have to do exactly what Polly did.  People can take this in whatever direction they imagine. You would start with inventory, however you would still need financial resources and a plan for what new inventory or services you're going to sell. 
Be ready to work hard.  “I feel like I got a couple of MBA’s (Masters in Business Administration). It’s a lot of work, but it’s invigorating and refreshing when you can work for yourself. For the person who’s going to win the store this is an opportunity to give them a financial boost. If they have more financial resources to put into what they want to do in the business, then that’s something new to offer the community.” 
Apply even if you’re not sure you’ll win because the process can still be beneficial. “That’s one of my hopes,” says Polly, “because I’ve applied for arts grants before and even if I don’t get selected, the process that I go through when I see the opportunity brings me life. It inspires me. Because I see an opportunity and I’m like ‘what am I gonna do?’ I know now that I have that dream in me and I can put it  down on paper, and it other things can come out of it.”
You’ll have support if you need it. The previous owner trained Polly, and she’s open to doing the same for the new owner depending on what the business owner wants to do. Other resources include the local credit union Alternatives Federal Credit Union. They typically work with people closely and have classes, small business loans, and programs for the community so that everyone has access to financial education. 
Polly also plans to give back, “I want to give back a portion of the entry fees to the non-profit section of the credit union.” 
To see more information and enter the contest, log in to “You must confirm your email, but if you’re going to run your own business, you're going to need to confirm a lot of emails! And then you can dive deeper into the site under “Important Information.” You can work on it through the week and save it as a work in progress.
Their Facebook page is the main business, page so go check it out and get a feel for all the things that are there. Don’t miss this epic opportunity to win your own brick and mortar business for just $108.

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